Professor Emeritus Lewis Klar, Q.C., presented a paper at "Torts Forum: Apportionment and Attribution of Liability", University of Sydney, Australia

10 January 2014

Professor Emeritus Lewis Klar, Q.C., recently presented a paper on "Contributory Negligence and Apportionment of Liability: The Canadian Experience" at the international forum “Torts Forum: Apportionment and Attribution of Liability”, held at the University of Sydney, Australia. The forum was co-hosted by the University of Sydney Law School, Wake Forest University School of Law, and Emory University School of Law. In addition to Professor Klar from Canada, scholars from China, Australia, Great Britain , and the United States presented at the forum which took place December 14 – 16, 2013.

The theme of the forum was The Attribution and Apportionment of Liability. The task of apportioning liability between multiple wrongdoers or between wrongdoers and claimants is usually complex and arises in all kinds of tort claims. It is often made more complex by the contractual context in which a claim arises, or by statutory regimes intended to remedy the perceived defects of the common law. The theme of the forum is deliberately wide, encompassing also the attribution of liability, to allow participants to contribute papers on a range of issues.

View Torts Forum program…

Introduction to Professor Lewis Klar’s paper on "Contributory Negligence and Apportionment of Liability: The Canadian Experience":

“All Canadian Common Law provinces have adopted legislation relating to contributory negligence and contribution between tortfeasors. As is the case in other Common Law jurisdictions, the principle objective of these legislative provisions was to repeal the common law’s refusal to apportion liability between negligent plaintiffs and defendants, as well as to allow negligent defendants to seek contribution from each other, where multiple defendants were jointly or severally liable to plaintiffs. Despite the fact that some provinces enacted two statutes to accomplish these objectives, while others passed only one, for the most part there are fairly few differences in these legislative provisions.[1] There are, however, some. Additionally, the brief statutes left a number of questions unanswered. This paper will examine some of these matters.”

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[1] A useful and recent overview of the provincial statutes can be found in the Manitoba Law Reform Commission’s Report on “Contributory Fault: The Tortfeasors and Contributory Negligence Act”, April 2013. This Report was very helpful to me in my preparation of this paper.